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Full text of "The Cambridge Natural History"

226                   THE MAMMOTH AND THE FLOOD                  CHAP.
possess a good deal of brains, seems to be shown by the way it
which a well-trained animal will obey the slightest sign of the
mahout- in India. According to Sir Samuel Baker, localities
which produce in abundance particular kinds of fruit are remem-
bered, as well as the time at which the fruit will be at its best
Stories of revenge, which are numerous enough, attest, so far ai
their data are to be accepted as accurate, the power of memory
possessed by the Elephant.
In spite of their longevity, however, Elephants, unlike Rome
nave not been built for eternity. "We can only find two living
species; but in past times Elephants were very numerous. The^
commenced, so far as we know, in the Miocene.
The existing forms are known in a fossil, or at least sub-fossi
state, from diluvial deposits; and it is interesting to note that th«
African Elephant had formerly a wider range than now. Its bone*
(described as JK. priscus) have been met with in Spain and Sicily
One of the best known of completely-extinct Elephants is tbi
Mammoth, E. primigenius. This great Elephant in most respect
more nearly approached the existing Indian Elephant. The teetl
have quite as numerous plates. The tusks were enormous, reach
ing a maximum length of 15 feet; they were much curved upward
as well as outwards. A large tusk weighs as much as 250 Ibf
The Mammoth was of exceedingly wide range. ISTot only was i
found in various parts of Europe, but it was especially abundan
in Siberia, as is exemplified by the fact that for the last tw
hundred years as many or more than 100 pairs of tusks annual!
have been sold from that region. It also occurred in Arneric
together with forms at least not far removed from it, such as 1
columbianus. Mammoths have been more than once found a
entire carcases in the frozen soil of Siberia. The first was dis
covered in the year 1799, and rescued some years later for th
St. Petersburg Museum. This example showed that the Manimotl
unlike existing Elephants, was covered with thick wool mingle
with long and more bristly hairs of some 10 inches in lengt]
The softer wool formed a kind of mane beneath the neck, whic
hung down as far as the knees. Another carcase was discovert
later by Lieut. Benkendorf, who did not save it, but was near!
s^vept along with it into the sea by a flood. These creatun
died in the position in which they were found by being bogg<
in search of vegetation or "water.